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Introducing the Plone resource customizer

by David Glick posted Jun 02, 2010 01:50 AM
Thanks to the sprint at Plone Symposium East, the Plone resource customizer is almost ready for a beta release.

Going into the ZMI to edit templates and stylesheets and replace images sucks. Especially once we made it so there are two places you might need to go in Plone 3 (portal_skins and portal_view_customizations).  I've been working on a better way, the (drumroll please) Plone resource customizer*.

Thanks to the great work of my fellow sprinters at Plone Symposium East, I'm now ready to give a preview of the tool, which hopefully will see a first beta release real soon now™. Here's the screencast...

I forgot to mention in the screencast that Eric Steele has also started work on integrating this tool with Gloworm, so that it will be possible to find a resource to customize just by pointing and clicking (a la Firebug).

Currently the customizer displays items from CMF skin layers, browser view templates, viewlets, and portlets. Support for other things like browser resources or ZMI pages could probably be added, at least in a read-only fashion. The infrastructure is flexible enough to support new ways of registering resources that haven't been invented yet.

For now, if you're adventurous and want to try out the customizer, get a copy of the Plone 4 coredev buildout, and run it using -c experimental/skineditor.cfg

We are tracking bugs and ideas for improvement in the Plone bug tracker, with the component set to "Skin Editor."

This is only the beginning...David Bain is working on the customizer as part of the Google Summer of Code, and we've got lots of ideas about how to make it even more useful.

*better names hereby solicited :)

Filed under: sprint, customizer
Alex Clark says:
Jun 02, 2010 01:00 AM
One suggestion and a few comments. I'd use "theme" instead of "skin" as skin makes me think of "portal skins" which is Zope-CMF-specific, and theme is more generic (more or less).

Also "Theme Editor" seems like nice generic name (but maybe not entirely appropriate, as "resources" can include more than just "theming elements".)

If you are looking for a fancy or clever name, I'll throw in "One Ring", as in one ring to bind portal_* ;-). And it makes a nice package name e.g.

But then again perhaps clever is not appropriate, since Plone is already "clever" enough ;-) in which case I'd go with: Theme Editor (
Jon Stahl says:
Jun 02, 2010 04:09 AM
Great work, all! +1 to "Theme Editor" which is what occurred to me before I even read Alex's comment!
Lee Joramo says:
Jun 02, 2010 05:11 PM
I am very excited about this project! It will let me shift more of theme implementation work to my partner and designer. As it stands now, it is really much too complicated. Even I feel that I have to spend to much time hunting for were things live. Sure I hunt the usual places, or grep it, but I would prefer to know where it is.

As for a name, I would play up that this is for resources, not just themes. So "Plone ResEdit"

But that would be showing my old school Mac hacking.

Yuri says:
Jun 02, 2010 10:28 PM
really great! :)
Jota says:
Jun 03, 2010 10:26 AM
Suggestions for the name:
Plone EasyLooks or Plone EasyVisual
 "" / ""

(this reminds me of some the simple things Plone could/should already have built-in and will improve a lot the life for everyone - like the separate catalogs for full text indexing and metadata, for instance)
ctxlken says:
Jun 04, 2010 12:06 PM
I vote for - that's intuitive, right?
David B says:
Jun 07, 2010 06:51 PM
Looks amazing and will be very, very useful.

As for a name... I wish I was creative..